Thursday Poem

Throwing Away Several Pages of Poetry

They were decent little nuggets
almost. Interesting lumps of ideas,
I think. Stupid, incoherent, nearly
lovable phrases. A few beginnings
and I tossed them away. Threw them
into the invisible heap of rejected things
like a drunk landlord, so sure of himself,
singing Puccini as he goes up the basement
steps after dropping the rent checks
into the coalbin.

Well, now I go back into the basement
to search for them. I’ve come to
wonder what shadow of things
I was trying to find words for; what
form of love was too trivial or sad
to acknowledge. Naked, I nose
into the coalbin, the fine fur
of coal dust slowly settling over me.
I dig through the hunks of black,
concealed fire, and then I think
suddenly — why am I here? why
couldn’t I just forget, just let go,
or why didn’t I save everything,
every word, every crazily valued
bent coin experience? Because,
I hear myself say, there is no
peace, dammit, no real peace.

by Lou Lipsitz
Seeking the Hook
Signal Books, 1997